Cannabis in Personal Injury Litigation: Allegations of Mislabeling and Injuries From Product and Delivery System Use

Important Differences From Alcohol-Based Torts

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926
Course Materials

This CLE course will provide valuable guidance to practitioners on the growing role of cannabis in personal injury cases. As attorneys and plaintiffs become more aware of the dangers of cannabis, lawsuits for injuries related to cannabis use will become more common.


Cannabis, in one form or another, now has some level of legality in all but three states. The implications for personal injury litigation are significant. There appear to be two potential sources of personal injury liability for this industry: injury to the user and injury by the user.

Allegations of injuries to the user may involve not only the product itself but more modern delivery systems. Marijuana is not just for smoking anymore. Edible products have been the subject of litigation concerning whether such products mislead consumers as to potency or otherwise contain proper warnings. There are frequent news reports, and ongoing government activity, concerning illnesses and deaths associated with vaping cannabis. Vaporizing devices and associated distillates and oils have also been subject to scrutiny as the source of potential contamination and product defect claims. Finally, the long-term risks associated with modern cannabis consumption are not well understood and whether the cannabis industry will be subject to mass litigation like the tobacco industry is a topic already being discussed. Indeed, class action activity has already begun.

Injuries caused by people under the influence of marijuana represent a significant danger. Whether these injuries are directly caused by an individual or contributed to by a supplier (becoming known as "gram shop" liability), there is a significant potential for lawsuits. There are also economic injuries from marijuana racketeering under RICO.

Listen as this experienced panel provides valuable guidance to practitioners on the growing role of cannabis in personal injury cases. As attorneys and plaintiffs become more aware of the dangers of cannabis, lawsuits injuries related to cannabis use will become more common, and defense attorneys must be prepared to respond.



  1. Status of legalization
  2. Federal
    1. Federal legislative update
    2. The 2018 Farm Bill and USDA/FDA
  3. State
    1. Adult-use
    2. Medical use
    3. Decriminalized
    4. Hemp-derived CBD
  4. Consumer claims
    1. Labeling and Marketing issues
    2. Failure to warn
    3. Contamination
    4. Potency Claims
    5. Defective design/ manufacturing
    6. Consumer protection statutes
    7. Consumer class actions
  5. Claims resulting from the use by another
    1. Road safety
    2. Onsite consumption / pot cafes
    3. Gram shop liability
    4. Third party bodily injury claims in the cannabis context


The panel will review these and other notable matters:

  • Different levels of legalization
  • Claims by consumers
  • Claims resulting from actions of consumers


Covington, Jenny
Jenny A. Covington

Bowman and Brooke

Ms. Covington’s practice focuses on the defense of product liability, class action, mass tort, commercial...  |  Read More

Evans, David
David G. Evans

Senior Counsel
Cannabis Industry Victims Educating Litigators (CIVEL)

Mr. Evans’s consulting services concentrate on regulatory and licensing consulting for addiction treatment...  |  Read More

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